Categorized | Civil Justice Update

Judge refuses to reopen cigarette class-action lawsuit that produced a $10.1 billion verdict.

The AP (12/13, Suhr) reports that “an Illinois judge has refused to reopen a class-action lawsuit that produced a $10.1 billion verdict against cigarette-maker Philip Morris, handing the plaintiffs their latest setback in legal action now more than a decade old.” The article says that it was unclear on Thursday whether Stephen Tillery, the attorney who pursued the suit would appear the ruling by Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth. According to the AP, “A now-retired Madison County judge found in 2003 that Philip Morris misled customers about ‘light’ and ‘low tar’ cigarettes and broke Illinois law by marketing them as safer.” However, the “Illinois Supreme Court later threw out that verdict, saying the Federal Trade Commission allowed companies to characterize or label their cigarettes as ‘light’ and ‘low tar,’ so Philip Morris could not be held liable under state law even if such terms could be found false or misleading.”

        The St. Louis Business Journal (12/14, Binns, Subscription Publication) and the Belleville (IL) News-Democrat (12/13, 44K) (12/13) also cover the story. 

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